France may not be among the nations which allow same-sex marriage, but that didn't stop one mayor from officiating the wedding of two men in an effort to push the country to amend its laws.
As Reuters is reporting, Jean Vila, the mayor of the town of Cabestany, said he presided over the nuptials of 48-year-old Patrick and Guillaume, 37, as an act of protest."To outlaw homosexual marriage is to deny the reality of thousands of homosexual couples," he said after the ceremony in the city hall of the town about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Spanish border. "This decision to join these two people for me is an act of anger and revolt in the face of the authorities' refusal to legitimize such unions."
In addition, the couple's symbolic marriage "license" reportedly read as follows: "Unfortunately this document has no official character, since the law today forbids marriage between people of the same sex, but it signifies the wish of the local authority to see the law change."
As the illegal marriage of two men in 2004 was quickly annulled, Vila declined to enter Patrick and Guillaume's wedding in the official registry to avoid a similar fate. France recognizes same-sex couples with civil partnerships, but not marriage.
The mayor's defiance was quickly dismissed by President Nicolas Sarkozy's Minister for Families, Claude Greff, who called the nuptials a pre-election "provocation" ahead of the 2012 presidential poll.. "It's unacceptable to use the powers vested in a public official to violate the law," Greff said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Though polls found that an estimated 58 percent of citizens would approve of an amendment allowing LGBT couples to wed, the French constitutional court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage in January, the BBC reported.